Nike Force of Nature and Quantum Space: Abstract media experiences that evoke presence

[Here are two related stories that demonstrate that presence can be evoked even with abstract stimuli. The first, which may be a glimpse of the future of presence and exercise, is from PSFK, where it includes a 0:12 second video and more pictures; for a 1:03 minute video and more, larger images, see the FIELD website.]

Nike's Force Of Nature

Nike Treadmill Experience Takes You Through Sensory-Enriched Workout

The sports giant has created an installation to show how technologies may heighten the adventure of running

Lara Piras
22 may 2015

When it comes to the future of the sportswear industry the focus right now is on wearables. Looking further afield, Nike and London-based creative studio FIELD have collaborated to reimagine the concept of running.

Force of Nature is an interactive exhibition currently being held at London’s Truman Brewery, a collection of old brewery spaces used for art-related events located around Brick Lane.

Created for the Nike Innovation Summit 2015, the installation was designed to use Kinect interaction, a series of applications that incorporate gesture-based interactivity. The treadmill is fitted with a collection of sensors that react to the user’s movements while travelling at different speeds and landing with various amounts of pressure. This create a stunning, colourful artistic display on the screen placed directly in front of the subject.

The overall outcome sees the runner’s portrait transformed into a whimsical, cloud-like reactive piece of art and the feeling is described as, “a journey of immersive visual effects that amplify the feeling of getting into the flow of running.”

Force of Nature is the perfect example of how future technologies are being integrated into the exercise experience for a more sensory-enriched workout. Could this be a nod to how gyms could look like in years to come? At the moment, the focus is on monitoring a person’s performance, offering them acute data that they can use as knowledge to understand the pace they need to reach the next time to ensure improvement.

Nike’s installation however signals that the future of sportswear technologies could be more about finding innovative ways to inspire an athlete or trainer to work harder and go faster in realtime. As opposed to an afterthought, by using sensors that react to a person’s execution while taking part in any kind of sports could really help to advance their ability. With this in mind, working out could transform into a whole new experience in no time at all.

[The second story is about a mesmerizing (self) presence-evoking installation; it’s from The Creators Project blog and includes a 3:20 minute video and more pictures. –Matthew]

Quantum Space

Walk Through a Digital House of Mirrors in This Interactive Installation

By Beckett Mufson — Mar 15 2015

Thanks to new interactive light installation, Quantum Space, you can become a shapeshifting digital humanoid inside a Moscow art gallery. Working with Ku-Flex Visual Labs, digital artist Igor Tatarnikov, a.k.a. Sodazot, linked projectors, computers, and motion tracking cameras together with openFrameworks software to create a digital mirror. Only, instead of your reflection, it reveals an ephemeral body of swirling light, neon geometry, and particles.

The shapes and colors that make up your new digital reflection are actually based on real particle physics simulations. “When you come into Quantum Space, you break down into quantums of light and you communicate with universe,” explains Sodazot. Ultimately, the experience seems like joining Universal Everything’s walking man on his jaunty, animated stroll.

Quantum Space runs at the M’ARS Gallery in Moscow through April 15, 2015. Check out Ku-Flex’s work on their website, and visit Sodazot’s portfolio for more.


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